�67,000 - the cost of a deposit for a house in North Herts
FIRST time buyers are being “locked out” in North Herts and Stevenage, as property figures released today (Tuesday) show deposits of nearly �70,000 could be needed to get on the ladder.
The figures, released by the National Housing Federation (NHF) in a Home Truths report, reveal that the average property in North Herts now costs �268,000 and in Stevenage, �186,000.
With first-time buyers, according to the NHF, now requiring a 25 per cent deposit, it means that for an average property, a deposit of �67,000 and �46,500 respectively would be needed.
The NHF claimed this week that these figures were contributing to a “generation locked out of [a] broken market”.
Claire Astbury, East of England manager at the federation, added: “Hertfordshire and the East of England have become unaffordable for ordinary hardworking people who have little realistic chance of buying their own house, triggering even greater demand for good social housing or a desperate search for a home in the more expensive private rented sector.”
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The average price of a house in North Herts is nearly 10 times the average local salary of �26,800, while in Stevenage it is 8.4 times that of the �22,250 the average person earns.
But the required salary to get a 75 per cent mortgage is twice those figures, at �57,553 and �40,054 respectively.
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Buyers are also facing difficulty in Central Beds. There, the average property price of �223,526 is 9.1 times the average local salary with a 25 per cent deposit of �55,750 generally required.
Cllr Judi Billing, chairman of Hitchin area committee, said: “My thoughts are that there’s a whole generation who just can’t get on the property ladder. But many would love to own their own homes.
“Not everybody has got parents who can help them, and even in days where you could help children with deposits, you could get a mortgage that was affordable.
“There are a number of things [that can be done]. One is to increase affordable housing, and by that I mean good quality. Many have gone up in Bearton ward the last couple of years, and they’re not even of a quality that social landlords will accept. They’re private, expensive and trashy.”
The report also highlights that there has been a 59 per cent increase since 2000 of those on a social housing waiting list.
And the proportion of households owning their own home in the east is expected to drop from 71 per cent today to 64 per cent in 10 years time.
Cllr Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council (SBC), said: “This is yet another blow, particularly for young people.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it - we have a housing crisis. I know there’s pros and cons about building in North Herts and that people are against it, but unless we start building more social housing and affordable homes, people will end up living in very poor conditions, and we don’t want to go back to that again.”